Renee Conoulty: How to ask a blogger to review your book

Books

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

How to ask a blogger to review your book

advice to authors wanting to pitch a book blogger for a review
Hey Everyone!

Over the past few months I have been receiving requests from authors to review their books. The first few had me so excited and I jumped at the chance. As HeySaidRenee has become more popular, more and more requests have been rolling in. The novelty has started wearing off and I have become a bit more discerning about the books I agree to review. Here's my advice for authors wanting to pitch a book blogger for a review.


1. Read the blog!

Before you approach a blogger, become familiar with their blog. Do your research. What genre of books do they read? Is their blog a good fit for your book? Have they read anything else similar to the book you have written? Did they like it? Do they generally write scathing reviews? (If so, you probably don't want to ask them to read your book).




2. Check their review policy.

Some bloggers have a clearly marked tab for review policy, others have it included in their about me or contact page. Look for it and read it. Do they take review requests? Do they require specific information in a request? Make sure you provide all the necessary information in the first email. At a bare minimum - cover image, blurb, genre, available formats, page count, publication date, link to the book on Goodreads, Amazon or your website.


3. Follow them on social media.

If you do this a couple of days before you send the email pitch, it will come up in their feed and your name will already be familiar when they receive the email. But don't ask for a review via social media. You can say hi, I loved your blog, share one of their blog posts or tell them you will send them an email tomorrow. You can't pitch in 140 characters.


4. Write a personalised review request.

Don't just send out the same stock standard email to everyone and hope for the best. If a blogger can tell you have taken some time to try to impress them, they will be more impressed. Find something you have in common. Tell them why they would like your book. Is it similar to something else they read (and liked)? Mention a post they have written that you liked. Give them a bit of an ego boost, but don't be gushy. And don't forget to address us by name. We are people, not "Dear Blogger".


5. Be confident but not cocky.

Don't talk yourself down. If it seems like you don't believe in your own book, why should we? But don't be pushy. Remember that we are doing you a favour by donating our time to read your book and write a thoughtful review. Many bloggers have a busy schedule of books to read and review, as well as a life offline.


Bloggers, do you have any other tips? Authors, what has worked well for you?


28 comments:

  1. Great post! All of these are so true. I personally don't like when it seems like the review request is a carbon copy that could have been sent to any other blogger. Tell me why you want *me* to read and review your book. Do you like that I focus on XX and you have a lot of this in your book so you think I'd enjoy it? Tell me that! I want to know what you love about your book that I will catch on to.

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    1. Exactly! The funny thing is, this morning I received one of those carbon copy requests! The day after posting this. Hmmm. Pretty sure they didn't read my blog.

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    2. It sounds good and fair. It's good to get to know someone first before pouncing for a favour.
      It's hard to ask for help from a complete stranger...

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    3. Hi Molly - That's my daughter's name :)
      Yes, building some rapport makes a huge difference when asking for a favour.

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    4. Hi Renee, that's great! I am glad there is another Molly.
      I liked your blog because it reminded of something nearly similar, where some families contact each other only when they want something...
      Keep us updated about your writing. It is an interesting journey

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    5. The writing journey certainly is an interesting one. Full of highs and lows. I share some of my journey here, and the highlights in my monthly newsletter.

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  2. This is so true. I review military history and science fiction. I have a review policy page to help people understand what I will definitely say no to and yet I still get requests to review the stuff I've already said I definitely won't review.

    I used to reply back to everyone. These days I only reply to those that have read at least the review page.

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    1. I get frustrated too and don't always reply to every impersonal request. Thanks for stopping by.

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  3. What a great and so true post. I like you was so pleased when I first started blogging to receive any requests, now I am so picky. If they don't use my name, I probably won't even reply. That's just manners. I hope some Authors and publishers read this and take note. I also hope you see a difference in the way they pitch to you.
    Amanda.

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    1. Mmm Chocolate.... and pages.... two of my favourite things as well.
      Thanks for stopping by Amanda. Hopefully you see a difference in how people pitch you too.

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  4. Good tips, starting with #1 - read the blog! We do look at stats you know. :)
    I started my review blog for conservative-leaning readers and I don't even have a contact me page on the blog because I want review requests to come via social media groups that fit the profile. Square peg, round hole and all that.

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    1. Thanks Vi. It seems a bit obvious to me, but its amazing how many people don't seem to have read the blog they are approaching.

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  5. This is very helpful for me as an author who sometimes requests reviews. I always try to personalize my pitch and sometimes I feel like I'm kissing up, but probably that's because I am! I chose you because I like you and your style. Nice to know that's appreciated. Love book bloggers - you are critical to the success of new authors and I'm still WAY impressed that you do it for free. Grateful.

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    1. Thanks Cara. A thoughtful, personal review request makes me feel warm and fuzzy, like what I do matters. Everyone likes positive feedback.

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  6. This article is very helpful cos im at that very stage in my career after a very long and stressful journey,,may i use this oppurtunity to ask Friendly personalities who wouldnt mind to review Romantic Fiction to please indulge me,,,its my first novel and im excited about it,,please kindly DM me ,,Mercy ekenerion @maceplus2!
    Once again ,,thanks for the great piece,,,i have added a shortcut to home so i can go over it again and again,,Really Helpful

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    1. Hi Mercy,
      I'm so glad you found my post helpful. Good luck with your debut novel and your review requests.

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  7. No.4 is a MUST.

    Thank you for linking with #TalkoftheTown

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    1. Absolutely Shaz. It's something I hear again and again from other bloggers.

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  8. Great post, Renee. Writing a personal email is always the most important to me. Emails that say: "Dear..." (yes, I get lots of these - at least just write "hello", but don't pretend you might have just forgotten to add a name...), go unanswered and are deleted straight away. Thanks so much for linking up to #TalkoftheTown

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    1. Thanks Heidi. Dear .... Just look for the name when you look for the email address.

      I had a request recently that looked ok to start, got my name, mentioned something they liked about my site, requested a review and linked to their website - but nowhere could I find a blurb of the book!

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  9. Some great advice here Renee! I try to review equal numbers of traditionally published and self-published books on my blog, which means I get a lot of the 'copy and paste' type requests from indie authors who just sound desperate. Numbers 1 and 2 are definitely important too though!

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  10. Thanks! I appreciate the inside info! Now I know what to do when I send you an email tomorrow! ;)

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  11. Wonderful advice Renee. You nailed it. I review books on occasion and some of the requests I get are nothing my readers would be interested in. I'm absolutely sure they haven't read my blog. LOL. Love hearing about your writer's journey. I'll be reviewing "Don't Mean a Thing," soon. :)

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    1. I recieved a request the other day that began

      "Hi Renee,

      I’ve been reading through your blog and have a novel that I think will suit your tastes!"

      Then pitched me a sci fi space opera. Just because you said you read my blog doesn't mean you did. I don't like sci fi set in space and have never reviewed it.

      Looking forward to reading your review. 😊

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